Some points to consider prior to signing a contract.
Never sign a contract without first having your site inspected by a pool consultant. If your contract reads “subject to site inspection” sign nothing and pay no money. You could lose your deposit and much more.
The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia (SPASA) requires that contracts be presented in a clear and concise manner so that consumers cannot be misled. We recommend that our members use SPASA contracts (which we produce) for Concrete Pools, Fibreglass Pools and Pool Renovations. The association also produces Preliminary Agreements, Variation booklets and Pool Handover Books. Please speak to your pool builder about utilising a SPASA contract.
SPASA also insists that the contract price must include and/or clearly state the following.
- The pool location on the property and the position of the filtration equipment must be clearly shown on a diagram and the contract price must allow for the supply and installation in these positions and for the supply and installation of all necessary pipework.
- Access for all necessary building works and machinery must form part of the contract price and therefore not to be deemed as an extra at a later time.
- A datum or fixed reference point must be nominated and the height of the pool to that datum point must be clearly shown.
- The cost of all “Prime Cost” items and site cost must be clearly shown on the contract before you sign. “Price on application” is not acceptable for such items as rock excavation, tip fee, special equipment, etc.
- The cost of overburden excavation and all above-ground formwork and structural requirements necessary to construct the pool in the nominated position, taking into account the height of the pool relative to its surroundings.
- If the walkway and coping is included in the contract price, the width must be nominated.
- The costs of plans and specifications and local government application fees (except for deposits and other charges).
- All applicable taxes.
- The type and size of equipment appropriate for the excavation, including transporting to site, taking into account the access and working space.
- Suitable filtration, sanitation and heating equipment to do the job. Make sure you check the suitability of the equipment before you sign or you may find you are charged more later for a “bigger size” or you haven’t got suitable performance out of the equipment provided. Check manufacturers’ recommendations.
- If cost of tipping is quoted, it must be included in the contract price.
- Full details of the type and size of filtration to be supplied, including any accessories (light, heater, chlorinator, etc) should be provided.
- To prevent lengthy delays in obtaining approval from council, insist that your sales consultant submits plans to council within a reasonable time.
- Check the allowable maximum deposit you are required to pay on signing a contract in your state or territoty.
- Make sure the penalty costs for late completion are realistic…so your pool gets finished on time.
- Sanitisation. What will it cost to keep your pool suitable for swimming and healthy for your family? Your consultant should be able to provide the answer. If in doubt consult the manufacturer.
- Solar Heating. Are you getting enough “collector” to adequately heat your pool? A rule of thumb is that a collector area of 80 percent to 100 percent of the surface area of the pool is required. Insist that the amount of collector is mentioned in the contract. If in doubt consult the manufacturer.
- Ensure you understand your state or territory's cooling off period laws (generally 5 business days).
- Information regarding statutory warranty must be included in the contract.
- A customer checklist should be included in the contract. It should be read and completed before signing the contract.
- If you are in any doubt about your contract, contact SPASA in your region to seek further advice.
It is also important to check that your contractor is a member of SPASA. While SPASA has no mandatory powers, it does have strict control over its Members. Before being admitted, an applicant must be able to prove to a Board of Directors that they maintain a high standard of work, stick to ethical business practice, and have experience in successfully completing contracts.
SPASA also provides a wide variety of useful information to assist consumers. Fact Sheets are available to view, download and /or print which will provide consumers with advice on a wide range of topics such as pool chemical treatment, pool heating, pool safety etc. These are available for download from this site.